*This devotion was originally published @joyfullifemagazine.
I adore fall time. I love it so much, in fact, that I like to say in Heaven I’m going to have a house that is surrounded by a perpetually autumn landscape. Recently, I was joking with a friend about my future autumnal home, and this question arose: If fall, as wonderful as it is, is a season of loss and decay, could there actually be fall in Heaven?⠀
My first response was, “Well, if there’s not, there will be something better.” Which I’m sure is true. But the question stuck with me over the following days. I wondered, Why do I love fall so much when it is, in reality, a sad season? What place could autumn have in perfectly-life-giving Heaven?⠀
On a walk in the woods, I prayerfully considered these questions. All around me birch and aspen leaves glowed golden in the afternoon sunshine. An occasional gust of wind loosened clusters from their branches, sending them fluttering to the forest floor as softly as snowflakes. Highbush cranberry bushes burned crimson, their ruby-red fruit perfuming the air with a sweetly pungent odor.⠀
As I contemplated, I felt God showing me a new perspective on fall. I saw that, rather than “losing” their leaves, the trees are willingly surrendering them. In His wisdom, God commands the trees to shed their leaves, knowing that if they hold on to them their branches will break under the weight of winter ice and snow. The release of their foliage is an illustration of trust in God’s wisdom and timing.⠀
And those highbush cranberries whose spicy smell I relish? They are giving themselves. Rather than the smell of decomposition, I recognized their tangy scent as an invitation: “Come, partake. Let me nourish you. I offer myself to fill you up.”⠀
Fall is about trusting and surrendering, giving and nourishing. Whether there is autumn in Heaven or not, surely these values can be found. And whether they are represented through tumbling leaves and ripe berries or something else, I’m sure it is beautiful.⠀
I want to hear from you!
What truths do you glean from the fall season? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
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